Wilderness Systems Pungo maintenance/repair tips

I recently picked up a couple of WS Pungos for the wife and I. These were former rental boats. The Pungo 120 is in pretty good shape and doesn’t appear to need anything pressing. Will see if it needs any bulkhead/hatch attention after it warms up more.

The Pungo 140 needed some TLC. It’s older and spent part of its life stored outside (I got it really cheap so am willing to spend some money and do the work to get it taken care of). It had a big zinc plated steel u-bolt installed to run a cable lock through. That thing was all rusty and also stuck out enough to get a little too close to the roof of my pickup truck for comfort, so I cut it off to plug and seal the holes. The seat needed some attention - a buckle on the back strap had broken so the seat back was unusable. Easy fix. Replaced the thigh pads while I was working in that area.

Next up, and what appears to be the most major job it needs, is to repair the bulkheads. Both of them are blown, so I’ve been reading about what I need to do to fix them. I ordered a 3 pack of Lexel to make sure I have plenty and have looked at a few sources describing what I need to do. Both bulkheads are currently still attached to the underside of the deck, but I’ve decided I’m going to fully remove them so I can get all the old adhesive off the bulkheads and really get the boat cleaned and prepped.

It may also need the hatch seals worked on, but I’ll worry about that after I get the bulkheads repaired. Anyone have any tips for this job that I may have overlooked?

Good luck.

Lots of DIYers here … before/after pics are always welcome.

here’s the pair of them.

I had already cut off the steel loop (just behind the bow grab handle) but had not yet plugged the holes. Today I started work on cleaning the boat out. Turns out, there was minimal adhesive holding the bulkheads in place anymore. They were mostly just wedged in place. It’s going to take a little more work to get the old adhesive off of the hull. I also spent some time scrubbing the paint off from the rental operation of a decade ago. Got most off, but there’s a light haze I can’t get rid of. If it doesn’t fade on its own, maybe I’ll just put a sticker on it.

Stainless hardware sandwiching rubber washers and sealed with silicone.

Although I am a great believer in Lexel, I would check with Wilderness Systems for advice on regluing a bulkhead.

On the web site for Lexel:

Where NOT to Use

Polystyrene insulation or foam, Aquaseal®, Kynar®, Teflon®, polypropylene, polyethylene, silicone, waxes. Plastics not listed should be tested for compatibility before widespread use.

Rotomolded boats are notorious for nothing sticking to them. If the Lexel does not work you could end up with a real mess trying to use something else.

I do have a tube of EM 89 that WS recommends, but damn is that stuff expensive. a 5oz tube cost $40. Guess I should have read the deets on the Lexel page. I saw it recommended WIDELY, even for plastic boats, so figured I’d be good.

I used Lexel when my bulkheads started coming loose. Worked well.


Lexcel is what we always used in both kayak shops that I worked at.


Lexel works fine on HDPE.

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yesterday it was warm and sunny and dry out so I was able to drag my boat into the yard to finish sealing up the bulkheads. glad I did get the Lexel. I would have needed ~$200 of the Wilderness Systems adhesive to complete the job if I had done the job entirely with that stuff. Ouch. I used what I had and it wasn’t enough to complete the rear bulkhead.

Job’s done now, though, and that was the last repair job to my boat that needed to be done. Once that adhesive is done curing, I’ll be all set to get out on the water.

Well, except for the fact that the wife’s new car still needs a roof rack installed. We’ve been waiting to get a bunch of body work done on it from when some idiot wrecked into us driving home after Christmas. And we’re now scheduled for a date in early March for that. ugh.

Although Lexel ® develops its maximum strength in 2-4 days, it will cure underwater and is waterproof on application. Great stuff. Just be careful to clean up any excess right away, as once cured it’s almost impossible to remove.

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I’ve learned my lesson about the length of time products take to cure in my area.

I built a picnic table for my new deck last spring and used spar urethane for the top. The can said I could apply a new coat after 2hrs and that it would be useable in 24hrs. That was complete BS. Setting anything on that table for about 2 months left indentations in the spar urethane.

In my experience the label recs assume perfect temps, perfect humidity, and perfect application thickness. And the stars rarely align like that.

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